10 Basic Tailgating Rules

If you're past the college days of tailgating (translated: beer-guzzling gatherings), then go to game day like a grown-up. Graduate from those frivolous times to some serious fun.

1. Eat. Don't go to the game on an empty stomach. Pack your coolers with plenty of food and snacks, especially if you plan to indulge in a few "adult" beverages. Be sure to also have plenty of nonalcoholic beverages on hand to prevent dehydration.

2. Bring Beer. The only thing worse than running out of food is running out of beer. See our Beer Glossary.

3. Beat the crowd. Every professional tailgater knows that the party starts at least 3 to 4 hours before kickoff. Claim your turf. Get comfortable, because you'll be there for a while.

4. Location, location, location. Choose a fun, populated lot, preferably at the end of the row so you won't get blocked in and so you'll have enough space for socializing. Look for a shady spot on hot days, or keep cool under a tent.

5. Tag your location. Use a tall pole, colorful tent, or anything that stands out so others can spot you and join the party.

6. Show some spirit. After all, you are there to support your team, so dress for the occasion.

7. Consider bringing a small generator to power a TV. Serious tailgaters know the importance of staying connected to televised sports events throughout the day. (Plus, you'll make a lot of friends that way.) A generator is also good for outdoor fans and heaters. Visit your local home improvement center for any of these items.

8. Don't litter. Clean up before kickoff. Bring your own trash bags, and water down hot coals before heading to the stadium.

9. Stay after the game. No sense in rushing off to sit in traffic. You might as well camp for a while and enjoy the postgame party.

10. Give up the keys. If beer drinking gets the best of you, make sure someone sober takes the wheel.